Coronavirus: Toronto Raptors Release Statement After NBA Suspends Season

The National Basketball Association (NBA) has suspended its season after a Utah Jazz player has “preliminarily” tested positive for COVID-19.

“The test result was reported shortly prior to the tip-off of tonight’s game between the Jazz and Oklahoma City Thunder at Chesapeake Energy Arena,” the NBA said in a statement shared Wednesday evening.

“At that time, tonight’s game was cancelled. The affected player was not in the arena.”

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The statement said the NBA is suspending gameplay after all matches are completed on Wednesday: “The NBA will use this hiatus to determine next steps for moving forward in regard to the coronavirus pandemic.”

The news comes two days after the Toronto Raptors faced off against the Jazz. The Raptors released a statement on Thursday addressing the situation.

“The safety of our players, staff, fans and the media who cover our team is paramount,” the statement begins. “While we are disappointed the NBA season has been suspended because of the COVID-19 global pandemic, we completely support the league’s decision.

“The Toronto Raptors played the Utah Jazz in Salt Lake City on Monday night, and as is usual during an NBA game, the players were in close physical contact. On Wednesday evening, testing revealed that a Jazz player tested positive for the COVID-19 virus.

“Out of an abundance of caution, members of the Raptors travelling party have been tested for the virus,” it continues. “We await those results. Our players, coaches and travelling staff have all been advised to go into self-isolation for 14 days, which means minimizing contact in accordance with public health guidelines.

“Our team doctors remain in communication with infection control specialists and public health authorities, and we will continue to abide by their advice. Since returning from Utah on Tuesday morning, team members have made two public appearances.

“According to Toronto Public Health, being in close contact with someone who does not have COVID-19, but was exposed to someone with COVID-19, does not constitute a risk for getting COVID-19 and does not require public health followup,” the Raptors add.

“People who attended these events should continue to monitor their health, practice social distancing and hand washing, and contact a health professional should they develop symptoms.

“The Raptors are very grateful to our community of fans, friends, and family for their support through this season, and for their understanding as we face this unprecedented situation together,” the Toronto-based team concludes.

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Meanwhile, the National Hockey League released a statement Wednesday night in response to the NBA’s decision.

“The NHL is continuing to consult with medical experts and is evaluating the options,” the statement said, adding an update is expected to be given on Thursday.

More to come.

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